If you put really dirty dishes in the dishwasher, do they really get clean?


I always scrub my dishes really well before putting them in the dishwasher. I actually spend as much time cleaning them by hand as I did when I was in college and did not have a dishwasher. However, on commercials, they always show dishwashers filled like this (or worse even):

If you put really dirty dishes in the dishwasher, do they really get clean?
Do people actually load their dishwasher with dishes that have this much stuff still on them? Does it work? If it does, what if the food is all dry and encrusted?

Being a liberal pansy, I've often thought about this as hand-washing a load of dishes in the sink can easily cause you to tear through 20-30 gallons of water if you leave the water running for most the process, particularly if you rinse off your dishes with direct faucet water as opposed to having a "rinse pool". By comparison, a dishwasher cycle for my particular model uses 2.5 gallons of water per load.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I've loaded pretty dirty dishes into the dishwasher before, and they've come out clean. Every now and then, there will still be some caked-on food, but then you just scrub that off and put it away or let it run in the dishwasher another cycle.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Yes, it works, but I rinse off mashed potato, risotto and similarly starchy foods, otherwise things can be left feeling gritty.
    Bread dough is also a bad thing to leave to the dishwasher to clean (that was the first time I had to fix the machine).

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    • What happened with the bread dough? Like what did it cause?

    • It blocked up the outlet pipe.
      I fiddled around for a bit inside and found a switch that pumped the water out. Since it worked even with the door open, I could put the outlet in the door and run water and cleaning liquids of various types in a cycle until the outlet pipe was clear.

What Girls Said 4

  • It depends on your dishwasher, your detergent, and how you load your dishwasher. If you have good detergent and a decent dishwasher and load it right, everything will get clean. If you have really dirty dishes or a crappy dishwasher, put a few pumps of hand soap in the pre-wash (not too many pumps because suds will overflow from the dishwasher and you'll have to clean it up with towels while you let the washer run its cycle). It's always best to rinse your plates off before putting them in or it may take more than one wash, especially pots and pans if anything burns or bakes on. Make sure you don't block the dispenser from opening with large items. Don't overload your dishwasher or stack dishes. It's generally best to face the dirty part of your dishes towards the center because the mechanism that spins the water is usually in the center

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  • Only in the commercials 😂😂 not in real life no

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  • mine doesn't so I just wash the dishes the old school way

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  • I rinse mine off with hot water but that's it. The manual actually says not to clean them before putting in the dishwasher as the detergent needs something to cling onto to work. If they're already clean it doesn't actually clean the dishes anymore

    And it's a waste of water and effort hehe

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What Guys Said 5

  • No they don't and it really annoys me when my dad just throws the dishes in their without rinsing/scrubbing them off first cause they don't get clean and it's gross

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  • some things are worth spending the extra couple dollars on, dish washer is one of them, everything is sparklin clean, stuff i couldn't even hand clean it took it right off

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  • My dishwasher takes off just about anything, some aren't as good. Worth trying it anyway.

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  • Im an expert on this. No you need to rinse them pretty good.

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  • I run them through a rinse cycle then set the washer for a full wash.

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